Human Services leads on website accessibility

 

iTnews surveys 23 federal agency sites.

The Department of Human Services’ (DHS) website leads some 22 other federal agency sites in the race to comply with mandatory web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.0) by the end of the year.

iTnews conducted a survey of websites using two independent WCAG 2.0 checkers - the Ontario Government sponsored achecker.ca and Total Validator v.7.4.0. The two results for each agency were averaged, sorted and summarised (see table below).

The top Government sites based on the least number of errors averaged on their home pages were:

  • Human Services (zero errors)
  • Infrastructure & Transport (four errors)
  • Prime Minister & Cabinet (PM&C), the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FAHCSIA) (each with five errors)

Typical errors included anchors without texts, document languages' not being identified, invalid language codes, no alternate texts to images and no text added to a label elements.

DHS communication general manager Hank Jongen said the department developed its site "with strict web standards and best practice in mind."

“We understand the importance of meeting our accessibility requirements and actively promote the value of meeting our WCAG 2.0 commitments," he said.

"We have also ensured that these requirements become part of our standard developer and web authoring practice — rather than treated as a once-off event." 

Australian Governments at all levels endorsed WCAG 2.0 and require their websites (federal, state and territory) to meet new guidelines at the minimum compliance level of Single A by the end of the year.

They are required to meet medium compliance level AA by the end of 2014.

Australian Government agencies generally do a good job with provision of accessible web sites and are far in advance of the private sector, Australian National University lecturer Tom Worthington said.

“Rather than treat this as an extra burden, organisations should use the introduction of the Version 2 accessibility guidelines to review how they provide information to all web users," he said.

"Accessibility guidelines can provide better access for mobile users with tablets and smart phones, without the added expense and complexity of producing apps."

Technical structure

Web management environments varied among the agencies surveyed by iTnews.

Most Government sites relied on a version of ASP.net, SharePoint, Domino or open source PHP/SQL platforms such as Drupal and Squiz.

DHS opted for Documentum as its back-end web content management system, along with specialised web editors such as Adobe's Dreamweaver.

Agencies with Microsoft SharePoint-based sites seem to do it tougher in the WCAG 2.0 checks, with Innovation, Resources, Energy & Tourism (RET) and the Attorney-General’s Department (AG) tending to have more accessibility errors than other sites.

However, SharePoint was technically capable of supporting WCAG compliance activities.

In late July 2010, Microsoft published WCAG 2.0 “A” and “AA” conformance statements for SharePoint Foundation 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, Office 2010, FAST, Office Web Apps, Project Server 2010 & Search Server 2010. 

“These statements re-affirm our commitment to making our software accessible for those who need it. WCAG 2.0 or Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible,” a Microsoft Australia spokesman said.

More recently, the association for the visually handicapped, Vision Australia, confirmed that SharePoint 2010 offers “a solid foundation” to achieve accessibility, though it may require some customisation and “governance” for the best results. (pdf)

TABLE: SUMMARY OF WEB ACCESSIBILITY OF HOME PAGES

WCAG 2.0
(Single A)
Avg
Errors
achecker Total Validator Web CMS
DHS 0 0 0 Documentum
Infrastr & Trans 4 2 6 ASP.net
PM & C 5 2 7 ASP.net
DEEWR 5 1 9 ASP.net
DBCDE 5 2 8 Squiz
FAHCSIA 5 4 6 Drupal
ACCC 6 5 6 PHP/SQL
Sustainability, Env. 6 5 7     -
DAFF 7 1 12 Squiz
DoHA 7 8 5 Domino
Finance 7 6 8 ASP.net
APH 8 4 12 ASP.net
Treasury 10 10 9 ASP.net
AG 13 9 16 SharePoint
Immigration 13 12 14 Squiz
DFAT 18 9 26 PHP/SQL
Climate Change 27 17 36 ASP.net
AFP 31 26 35 ASP.net
Defence 31 52 10 ASP.net
ABS 43 34 52 Domino
RET 76 139 13 SharePoint
ATO 138 33 243 ASP.net
Innovation 176 333 18 SharePoint
* Checked on 16 July with achecker.ca and Total Validator v 7.4.0

 

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Human Services leads on website accessibility
 
 
 
Top Stories
Hockey flags billion-dollar Centrelink mainframe replacement
Claims 30 year-old tech is holding Govt back.
 
Ombudsman wants to monitor warrantless metadata access
Requests ability to report publicly.
 
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
What are Microsoft Office 365 'Groups'?
Apr 24, 2014
It's one of the biggest changes we're seeing in software like Microsoft Office. Click here for a ...
Preview of new PowerPoint tool Office Mix announced
Apr 23, 2014
PowerPoint users might be interested in some new developments coming up that might change the ...
Another phone with Telstra's Blue Tick: The Samsung Galaxy S5
Apr 8, 2014
Samsung's latest flagship phone joins Telstra's list of recommended handsets for customers in ...
Run an online shop? This might be worth bookmarking
Mar 28, 2014
Things like Australian safety standards are probably the last thing on your mind, but just ...
Vodafone switches on 4G in Tasmania: list of locations
Mar 28, 2014
See a list of locations in Tasmania that now have access to 4G via Vodafone's network.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  20%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  12%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1518

Vote